More than books: Librarians as fact checkers

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Christina Teasley, Crofton Community Library

Blue background with the word "facts" repeated over and over in lines. There is a magnifying glass in the middle of the page making that section of the words appear larger.

Recently a gentleman came into the library asking for help editing an email to a potential employer regarding some outstanding bills on his credit report. He also told me a friend recommended a credit repair company to help him improve his credit score. He had already emailed the company and received a reply.

Wait. What?! Let’s do some research on this company first. Unfortunately there are many credit repair companies that are disreputable. They claim they can reduce a person’s debt and improve their credit score for an up-front fee for their services. The person pays the fee and never hears from the “credit repair company” again. I was not able to locate the company through their local Better Business Bureau website, Red Flag #1. On their website they claimed they could secure more funding than any other company on the planet. Their outrageous claim was Red Flag #2. Red flag #3 was their focus on people who want to start a business but have poor credit, which was irrelevant to the gentleman’s needs.

National and local non-profit groups provide free financial counseling services to help people develop budget plans and manage their debt which will result in improved credit scores. AACPL partners with several of these groups to provide free programs at the libraries during Money Smart Week in April and throughout the year:

Maryland CASH Campaign (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) offers free personal finance classes offered across the state of Maryland

Making Change offers personal coaching sessions and free classes 

The Financial Education Foundation of Anne Arundel was founded in 2014. They provide financial seminars to high school and college students, and low- and middle-income individuals and groups. 

Instead of paying a questionable company located out of state the gentleman decided to contact one of the non-profit local groups mentioned above.

Besides recommending your next great read, Information staff are also skilled at fact checking and locating the best resources for you. Whether you need credit counseling information, a really great mystery, or fact checking, we’re here to help educate, enrich, and inspire.

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